Guest Column: Selling The Silver Haired
SELLING THE SILVER
By Waiata Dawn Davies
Just as British Aristocrats sold off their Gainsboroughs to pay death duties, New Zealand has sold just about everything to repay the National debt.
But we are deeper in the mire than ever, so New Zealand must turn out its attics and find any forgotten treasures that can be sold.
What have we got that we can no longer afford to maintain? New Zealand's over sixties had the best of things, milk in Schools, free health care, free education, guaranteed jobs, some of them even had overseas holidays in Italy, Korea and Vietnam, paid for by the tax payer.
Our Plunket pampered, Beeby brigade are still a pretty healthy lot. Let's offer them to the highest bidders. Developing countries would jump at the chance to acquire what we can offer.
For example, assorted School teachers, trained to maintain discipline in huge classes and to create world class learning programmes from almost nothing.
Or, Engineers, bridge and railway builders, not forgetting hydro electric systems that work, town planning, a speciality. Or carpenters and plumbers, guaranteed to build whole cities of high quality, low cost worker housing.
Chechnya and Kosova would be grateful for them.
We could offer our returned servicemen as a special lot. Trained patriots, renowned for bravery under fire, capable of great ingenuity.
Former airforce pilots able to spread fertiliser and 10.80 poison over any terrain in old planes. The Balkans and some African republics would be glad to incorporate our retired servicemen into their forces.
We could sell old farmers to Thailand and Columbia. A thousand retired Kiwi farmers in the golden triangle would revolutionise horticulture there and could create a whole new market for number eight wire.
New Zealand's greatest asset must surely be the former school teachers, nurses, receptionists, shorthand typists, telephone operators, all conditioned from birth to sacrifice their own ambitions to social expectation.
They are experienced family slaves, with a multitude of skills which can be exploited. They are dressmakers, knitters, jam makers, gardeners, clever at raising funds for civic purposes, like cake stalls for kindergartens. They're clean and housetrained and good with children. They would make nice pets.
The Japanese sell their old cars to us. Why not sell our old people?
New Zealand would profit from such deals in many ways. Bowling greens could be turned into golf courses for Japanese business tycoons. Geriatric wards and waiting lists for hip replacements would disappear. We could even charge our over sixties commission on their sale.
All it takes is a little correct thinking. ends...